Study finds discrimination for election candidates with ‘foreign’ names


Right-wing voters in Switzerland are more likely to remove candidates who do not have a typically Swiss-sounding name from political party lists, according to a study by the universities of Lucerne and Geneva.

600,000 ballots from the 2015 federal parliament elections were scrutinised for the study. The ballots contained information about the number of times voters crossed a candidate off a party list or added them.

Voters can amend party lists as they see fit and can add or remove candidates’ names.

The study found that voters frequently removed candidates with ‘foreign-sounding’ names and added those they considered to have Swiss names, with right-wing voters more likely to do this than others.

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